Silverdale Baptist Academy's three seniors made a vow to coach David Massengill that they would bring the Lady Seahawks' high school basketball program its first district championship.
The first indication it was possible was Silverdale winning the District 5-A regular-season title outright for the first time. Then the Lady Seahawks capped a perfect season against district competition by winning the tournament title 52-36 over Grace Academy at Chattanooga State on Saturday.
Boyd-Buchanan's Buccaneers, who have no seniors, ended a decade-long drought without a district championship by defeating Grace Academy 62-38 in the boys' final.
The top four boys' and girls' teams from Districts 5 and 6 will clash in the Region 3 tournament, beginning with girls' games Friday hosted by district finalists and boys' games Saturday. The tournament will move to Sale Creek on Feb. 25.
Massengill's daughter, Mariah, is one of Silverdale's seniors and she was chosen the tournament's most valuable player. The others are all-tournament selection Haley Redmond and Abbie Alosi.
"These seniors kept all their promises," Coach Massengill said. "The young girls, too, have done an excellent job being stewards of the elders. I'm just proud of the whole team."
Mariah Massengill is known for her scoring prowess, something the Lady Golden Eagles were well aware of. So, aware that they were aware, Massengill did not score in the first quarter but dished five assists and helped the Lady Seahawks to a 16-7 start.
"She's been really doing a good job the last seven or eight games of getting at least six assists," Massengill said of his daughter. "I was proud of her tonight. She talked about not feeling well. She did a lot of little things today that sometimes get overlooked."
Massengill went on to score 14 points, but it was Megan Lewis off the bench whom a penetrating Massengill often found open on the perimeter and dished it her way. Massengill ended up with 10 assists, and Lewis's 18 points included four 3-point goals.
Redmond added eight points for Silverdale (19-8), which maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way after going up 21-10 in the second quarter.
Sierra Nunley led Grace (10-14) with 16 points, 14 coming in the second half.
The boys' championship game was tied twice, the last at 5, before Boyd-Buchanan began to assert itself. The Bucs led by 10 at halftime, and then a 9-0 start to the second half made it 37-18 and they were squarely in control from there.
"They came out and hit some shots," Boyd-Buchanan coach Cole Rose said of the Golden Eagles, who was hanging within 14-12 late in the first quarter, "but I really liked the pace. We had the game going full-court. That's how we like to play."
Q.D. Cox led Boyd-Buchanan (22-7) with 18 points. Austin Walker scored 11 and Zach Jenkins had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Guards Hall Allen and Justus McMillan are double-figure scorers for the season who were held to a combined 13 points, but they teamed for 12 assists.
"We did a good job making the extra pass and getting it to the open guy," Rose said. "That's something we've been doing all year. They have to buy into it. This is a very unselfish group."
Blake Savard topped Grace (10-14) with 11 points.
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.